Online pokies have been around for decades. They may have changed a lot in that time, but so have the other things around us as the technology advances and so do when we play them, which is probably why many of us don’t think they are very much like chess.
A recent survey commissioned by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association revealed that over 90% of Australians surveyed had no idea what “pokies” were, despite most having played one or more online casino games at some point before. That’s not surprising, as this article will show you exactly how different online pokers are from traditional table games like poker, blackjack, roulette and craps. To even experience these differences, you can even try the Pragmatic Play Demo rounds of these games once you learn how to distinguish between these casino games. To understand that difference, though, you first need to understand a few basic terms. These terms include:
- Free Play
Anytime you start playing an online pokie without making any bets, you’re playing free play. This is also known as the house edge, because it’s the amount of money your casino takes in on every spin, compared to what you’ll win if you get it right. You can calculate this by using the RTP (Return To Player) stat, which tells you what percentage of all spins result in a payout, and multiplying that by your bet size.
For example, if your RTP is 97%, then if you bet $1 on each spin, you will win $2 back. If your RTP is 10%, then if you bet $1 per spin you’ll only win $0.10 back.
Free play is usually between 2% and 4%, depending on the game and the odds that are being offered. It’s always lower than the house advantage, but it’s still there. As long as you play responsibly, it won’t hurt you.
- Bonus Rounds
These are extra rounds in a slot machine where you’re awarded additional prizes just for playing certain symbols during the round. For instance, on some machines, if you get 3 scatters and land on a bonus logo, you might get an extra spin with double winnings. On other machines, you might get a free spin with a multiplier attached, or even a jackpot prize.
Bonus rounds are often called multipliers, because they multiply the wins of whatever symbols you landed on.
Payouts are the amounts you earn after winning a hand or bonus round. Each online casino has its own rules for payouts, and these payouts are set by the operator. In general, however, they’re fixed percentages of the total value of the wager you made, plus any winnings from previous rounds.
The way payouts work depends on whether you’re playing a single-hand game or a multi-hand game. Single-hand games are the ones where you’re betting a single amount on each spin. A typical outcome would be that you place 1 dollar on red 7s, and win 1 dollar back. The chances of this happening, or losing everything, is equal to the odds given for the number of 7s appearing on the screen. Multi-hand games are the ones where you’re placing multiple bets on each spin.
For instance, if you were playing Blackjack at a real casino, you’d put down a bet on each card dealt, and if the dealer has a card worth 20 points or less, you’d lose your bet. Then, if the next card was a 10, you’d win, and if it wasn’t, you’d lose again.
In multi-hand games, you’re betting on each individual hand, not each card, and your losses and wins are dependent on how the cards fall within each hand.
Jackpots are the biggest prizes that appear in a video game, and they’re usually tied to particular bonuses. They can also be linked to particular slots, and the jackpot can continue to grow until someone wins it.
Jackpots can range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they’re typically paid out once or twice a month.
- Progressive Jackpots
Progressive jackpots are the largest jackpots that appear in online casinos, and their values depend on the popularity of the game. A popular online pokie would have a progressive jackpot that could reach into the millions, while another game might have a smaller one that pays out a few thousand dollars.
Progressive jackpots are usually funded by small amounts of money from everyone who plays the game, rather than large sums of cash from one big winner. So, if you happen to hit a winning streak, the jackpot may not end up paying off your entire wager, but it’ll still be huge.
Most progressives have a minimum jackpot threshold, which means that as long as you make enough spins to cover the cost of the jackpot, you’ll get part of it. Sometimes, though, the jackpot can be divided among several winners, rather than just going to one person.
- House Edge
The house edge is a term used to describe the difference between what you stand to win and what you lose. For example, in most online pokers, the house edge is between 2% and 5%. And while that sounds bad, it’s actually a good thing. Because it means that your bankroll doesn’t shrink too quickly, and you can afford to keep playing, even if the odds aren’t in your favor.
As long as you play responsibly, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing everything. But if the odds get really bad, it’s possible that you might have to cut your losses and move on to something else.